Hybrid Striped Bass Active on the Ohio River
Bigger Hybrids Chasing Deeper Divers Cranked Faster
by Robb Hoff
September 16, 2012
One of my favorite places to fish in the world is a stretch of bank on the Great Miami River between an oxbow inlet and a sheer channel bank where bank swallows colonize. The reason I like it so much -- besides the sights -- is that it is usually good for several fairly large hybrid striped bass in the five-pound range and above.
One tactic I learned from fishing that spot over the years is that an extremely fast retrieve can be the difference between strikes and a whole lot of winding nothing but the lure in.
The vigorous retrieve may not be for every one because it will flat out wear you out after awhile. But the returns make it at least worthy of trying when the situation arises.
So it was today on the Ohio River below Markland Dam. Using my lure of choice -- a Rapala SR5 Silver Shad Rap -- I decided to see if I could get the lure deeper faster and maybe entice bigger fish with the faster crank.
Sure enough it worked. The hybrids were not in the 5+ pound range but there were several over two pounds and they put up a healthy fight in their own right.
The Rapala Shad Rap is such a proven producer for me that I seldom use anything else for hybrids in the Ohio River. The action, balance and durability of the lure is so good that I really don't see the need for using anything else for this type of fishing.
Like any lure with two or more treble hooks hanging from it, there are inherent risks when using these lures and the hybrids can compound some of that. The hybrids don't freeze completely when gripped by the lip like a largemouth or smallmouth bass, but eventually they do settle down.
I've always preferred to use hemostats for removing these hooks, mainly because the individual hooks of the treble hooks invariably find themselves in all manner of positions that can be quite cumbersome to deal with. Plus, the hemostats make it a whole lot easier to unhook smaller fish without actually handing them or trying to lip them.
In any event, the Shad Rap is such a good hybrid striped bass lure that I thought I'd add an EBay link for an example of this lure.